Each spring a new batch of Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) arrives just in time for their namesake holiday. Although many people treat them as annuals, the website Flower Garden Bulbs states they are perennials into U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 4.
Professional nurseries are experts at forcing Easter lilies to bloom right in time for Easter, whether it falls in March or April. As a perennial, your Easter lily will probably not bloom until June or July of the following year.
Keep your potted plant in the house out of direct sunlight in a room that is about 65 degrees and away from drafts or heating ducts. Remove the foil or plastic casing around the pot when you water the plant to avoid drowning your lily. To enjoy your Easter lily as a perennial, plant the bulbs late in the spring after all danger of frost is over. Plant the bulbs about 3 inches below the soil and 12 to 18 inches apart.
To help ensure that your Easter lily survives into another year in colder areas, protect it through the winter. The Texas Agrilife Extensive Service recommends a mulch of straw, pine needles, leaves, boxes and bags; remove when the plant sprouts in spring.
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